Vogue's Fashion Night Out with Next

 (Image from She Said Beauty)

This time tomorrow Manchester will be in the midst of Vogue's Fashion Night Out, so what better way to prepare than to talk to someone who's going to be involved from the brand's perspective!

Next are hosting an evening with stylist Martine Alexander along with goodies, drinks and photobooth to boot. 

I caught up with Martine to find out a little bit more about the event and what we can expect to see...

Tell us a little about Next's FNO and what you'll be doing on the night...

In a word, it’s going to be amazing! Next has a very distinct customer and I’m making it my mission to show Manchester’s fashionistas that Next can be high fashion as well as being the one-stop shop for wardrobe staples and workwear!

I’ll be restyling the front of the store (the upper Arndale entrance) with my favourite fashion pieces from A/W13, creating a dedicated ‘Denim Lounge’ which will showcase the massive denim selection Next have (did you know they do a ‘lift and shape’ range that makes everything perkier?), and we’ll have a ‘Style Lounge’ where I’ll be styling customers, solving all their fashion dilemmas!

There will also be a Next photobooth (bagsy going in first!), champers and cake pops throughout the night too!

If you could style anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be?

Good question! I’d say Blake Lively. Her style is so effortless and that body...

How do you begin to style a client?

The main focus for me when I style any client, whether it’s a celebrity for the red carpet or a private client for their A/W13 wardrobe is exactly the same. I need them to know that I understand them, the bits they don’t like about themselves, what their issues are and where they want their style to be.

Meeting a new client always starts with me listening to them, understanding where their comfort zone is and knowing what ‘style-boxes’ need to be ticked in order for them to feel amazing in what they wear. We all have a ‘Style Persona’ so it’s my job to find that out before I start styling someone. The outfits I style someone in will always challenge them but should always tick the fundamental ‘style-boxes’.

What has your favourite shoot or project been?

I don’t think I actually have a favourite! Because I love what I do, it never feels like work so it’s really hard to narrow it down to a favourite! Writing my eBook (Does My Bum Look Big In This) is probably my biggest achievement to date, I listened to what my clients were telling me ('finding the perfect pair of jeans is a nightmare!') so I decided to solve the problem and write a book that would dispel the myth that finding jeans was such an ordeal!

What did you want to be when you grew up? Has fashion always been an interest?

My educational background is acting and singing so I always thought I’d be an actress or a singer when I grew up. Fashion never really came into play until I was older and I worked for House of Fraser. I just loved making people smile and getting goosebumps when I gave them what they were missing, whether it was the perfect pair of jeans or an outfit for a wedding. In those days there were no such things as Personal Stylists or instore Personal Shoppers so I carried on life’s journey and had a successful career in IT.

I finally decided to follow my dreams and retrain as a stylist in 2005, when it was time to be who I was meant to be! Eight years on, here we are... No two days are ever the same and I really can’t call it work because I love it so much!

Can you tell us any industry secrets or tips how to become a stylist?

I always tell people that ask me how to become a stylist - assist as many stylists as you can, get as much experience out there in the industry as possible. Find the area of styling that gives you goosebumps and follow your gut instinct.

Drop into Next from 4-9pm tomorrow to join in! You can find out more about Vogue's Fashion Night Out and find out what's happening on their website.


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